MONDAY MOTIVATION: 5.1.17

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It’s Monday!

Is it just me, or does it feel like an “ultra-official” new week when the first of a month falls on a Monday? We’re having a beautiful stretch of weather in San Francisco and on top of that EVERYTHING is in bloom. It’s gorgeous! (but admittedly not great for allergy sufferers).

“Bloom where you are planted”

-Saint Francis de Sales

Even though it seems like the trees and flowerbeds erupted into color out of nowhere, the truth is that Mother Nature has been hard at work all year. Things don’t just magically fall into place right away.

I think that sometimes I psych myself out by waiting for the “perfect” time to start a project or experiment with a new concept. Things won’t always go off without a hitch, but that’s the way life is designed. It takes rain (literal and figurative) to make things blossom.

This week I am committed to nurturing new ideas by “starting” (even if it’s only a tiny step) instead of over analyzing. What’s your plan for the week?

 

GOOD STUFF: 4.28.17

posted in: Good Stuff | 0

It’s Friday! How are y’all feeling?

I had a late night yesterday so things are going a little slow today, but I am feeling great! Yesterday evening I went to the Anthony Hamilton concert and the show was amazing; I am still feeling the energy today. Anthony Hamilton has an incredible voice and an incomparable stage presence. When you pair his musical gift with the talent of The Hamiltones you end up with and outstanding show. It was amazing and, by far, the highlight of my week.

I was so inspired by the show that I came home and worked on some “stale” projects until three in the morning. The ideas and creativity just kept flowing and flowing. Since I had a long night; I’ll keep this post short and sweet.

Tell me about some of the “Good Stuff” that you experienced this week.

GOOD STUFF! showcases a few of the “good” things I enjoy during the week. You can find more “GOOD STUFF” here.

PLAYLIST: APRIL 2017

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It kind of feels like April Fool’s “Day” has lasted the entire month this year.

Despite all the mishaps and “WTH” moments, I’ve stayed focused and kept things moving forward. Sometimes all you can do is brush the dirt off your shoulders, laugh and get lost in some good music. Here are some of the songs that have been in heavy rotation in the design studio:

  1. You Dropped A Bomb On Me (The Gap Band)
  2. Love Hate Thing (Wale ft. Sam Dew)
  3. Everything Is Everything (Lauryn Hill)
  4. Don’t  (Ed Sheeran)
  5. Don’t Worry About A Thing (Bob Marley)
  6. Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai)
  7. Passionfruit (Drake)
  8. Keep On Moving (Soul II Soul)
  9. So Good (Davina)

What have you been listening to recently?

CHECK OUT MY PLAY LIST HERE

Find previous playlists here

MONDAY MOTIVATION: 4.24.17

posted in: Monday Motivation | 0

It’s Monday!

I can’t believe that it’s already the last week of April. Every year at this time (like clock work) my wanderlust kicks into high gear. I love traveling, experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. As a creative professional there is nothing more inspiring than having the opportunity to see things from a new perspective; travel provides the ideal opportunity to do precisely that.

“ONCE A YEAR, GO SOME PLACE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE”

– Dalai Lama

“Travel” doesn’t have to involve passports and exotic locations, or even an overnight bag and a road trip for that matter. Sometimes that type of travel just isn’t feasible. Fortunately, simply switching your routine can jump start your creativity and bring new perspective – no suitcase required. Going some place new can be as simple as walking your dog along a new route or going to a different coffee shop instead of your usual stomping grounds.

This week I am committed to working from someplace “new” at least two hours each day – I will provide an update on how it goes before next Monday. What’s your plan for the week?

Monday Motivation is a quick mood board that I make to kick-start my work week. You can check out what “motivated” me in past weeks here.

GOOD STUFF: 4.21.17

posted in: Good Stuff | 0

It’s Friday! How are y’all feeling?

Overall, I’ve had a busy (but fun) week. I had quite a few late nights at my desk, I did tons of client calls and submitted a few proposals for new projects that will push me slightly out of my comfort zone.

On a more somber note, losing Barkely Hendricks earlier this week is a huge loss for not only the art world, but also the world in general. I love his work – I think that it looks the way Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” album sounds. The subjects he painted remind me of how parents, aunts and uncles looked in the early eighties. His work embodies a type of African-American nostalgia that isn’t  often captured in fine art. Above all, I love the authenticity with which he painted fashion, feeling and cultural friction on his canvases. He will be missed.

Speaking of fashion, I spent an incredible afternoon at Cocktails with Claire. It was an event hosted by Claire Sulmers a fashionista, fashion editor and the founder of Fashion Bomb Daily. The venue was flooded with bold fashion fashion, dope music, cold mimosas and pop-up shops from some of the Bay Area’s most on trend vendors.

During the panel discussion Claire spilled secrets about the hard work and strategy that go into creating on the top 50 Most Influential style blogs in the world. She also signed copies of ,“The Bomb Life: My Brand. My Terms.” , her book that gives an inside peek at how she forged a path in the notoriously cut throat fashion industry.

After an eventful week, I’m looking forward to a low-key weekend. I am excited about unplugging and working on some analog art projects. I’ve also been pinning some new mushroom recipes that I can’t wait to try. I have a major thing for mushrooms; like REALLY major.

That’s my week in a nutshell. Tell me about some of the “Good Stuff” that you experienced this week.

GOOD STUFF! showcases a few of the “good” things I enjoy during the week. You can find more “GOOD STUFF” here.

TONY’S CHOCOLONELY

posted in: Inspiration, Spotlight | 2

Chocolate, bold packaging and the color green are three of my favorite things. A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a gift that featured all three of those things – a TONY’s Chocolonely almond sea salt candy bar. I let it sit on my desk for a week or so (because I enjoyed looking at the colorful label), and when I finally opened it I was blown away. It was so good!

TONY’s Chocolonely isn’t only about good packaging and great chocolate; they are truly committed to making the world a better place. They use their website not only as a channel to promote their chocolate, but also as a platform to amplify their mission of making chocolate 100% slave free world wide.

TONY’s isn’t shy about shining light on the problem of slavery and child labor in the cocoa industry; nor are they shy about implementing a solution. The heart of the cocoa industry is in West Africa, where over 60% of the world’s cocoa is produced. It’s estimated that in Ghana and Ivory Coast there are about 2.5 million farms in the cocoa sector and more than 2.3 million children working on those farms. Of the child farm workers, an estimated 90% of them work under illegal conditions. Oftentimes, they carry heavy loads, use dangerous tools and are exposed to chemical pesticides.

The poor working conditions don’t only affect children, adults are also victims of labor abuses. Recent studies calculate that there are around 90,000 victims of human trafficking, forced labor and extreme exploitation in the cocoa industry. This is the bitter byproduct left by many of the world’s major chocolate makers.

TONY’S is dedicated to changing the industry by leading by example. In addition to creating awareness and to producing their chocolate 100% slave free; they also inspire the industry, political players and consumers to bring about change.

TONY’S holds fast to a 5 pillar recipe for cooking up a new culture in the cocoa industry. It consists of:

1. HELPING FARMERS TO STAND STRONG TOGETHER

strengthen farmers’ organizations, use economies of scale, create commitment and trust

2. IMPROVING QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY 

stimulate agricultural improvements, motivate the cocoa farmer, attention to productivity and quality

3. PAYING A FAIR PRICE

ensure a living income (above the poverty level), reward equality

4. FOLLOWING THE COCOA BEAN

collective responsibility, map the supply chain, commit to continuous improvement

5. GOING FOR THE LONG HAUL

commit to purchase from farmers for at least 5 years, foster financing, invest in local projects

While TONY’S has made significant strides by embracing these principles in their company, they won’t consider their mission to be 100% “accomplished” until slavery is completely ended throughout the entire chocolate industry.

Even the molds TONY’S uses for their chocolate bars reflects the company’s values. When you unwrap the colorful paper and pull back the gold foil, you won’t find a chocolate bar divided symmetrically into neat segments. Instead, you will find a mosaic of various sized pieces. TONY’S explains that their chocolate bars are “unequally divided, because it’s strange for a chocolate bar to have equal pieces while the industry is still so unfairly divided”. As a designer, I love the this visual reinforcement of their core values!

The chocolate in TONY’S bars gets an extra delicious boosts when it’s blended with premium ingredients that are ethically sourced from around the world. Turkish figs, Ethiopian coffee, Belgian caramel, American pecans, and Dutch popcorn are all among the gourmet ingredients in TONY’S bars. My favorite flavor (so far) is the chocolate caramel sea salt…followed closely by the chocolate coffee crunch.

TONY’S has a core arsenal of flavors, but they keep things interesting by introducing limited-edition flavors. They released the “ValenTony’s Bar” for Valentine’s Day (fine dark chocolate with meringue made from free-range eggs and pieces of cherry). On April 1st 2016, the company announced a limited edition “Tony’s Space Bar” featuring milk chocolate and small chunks of locally grown marijuana. It was an April Fool’s joke! Not only do the folks at TONY’s have good hearts, they also have a great sense of humor.

Are you hungry yet? If you’re ready to eat some good chocolate (and make the world a better place), you can find TONY’s bars here.

Check them out and let me know which flavor is your favorite.

 

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MONDAY MOTIVATION: 4.17.17

posted in: Monday Motivation | 0

It’s Monday!

Yesterday I saw The Statue of Liberty at Starbucks and today I saw Uncle Sam waiting at the bus stop. When you start seeing American symbols waving at you while holding signs pointing to accounting offices, it can only mean one thing. It’s tax time.

Stressful times like tax time (and taxing times in general) are a true test of character that bring our true colors to light. This is definitely the case for me because I have one of those expressive faces that leaves little doubt about what I’m thinking. To be honest, I probably make all the expressions in the above mood board at least once a week. Lol!

“USE YOUR SMILE TO CHANGE THE WORLD,

DON’T LET THE WORLD CHANGE YOUR SMILE”

My taxes are already done, but I’m sure that this week something else will happen that makes me want to twist my face into a “wha-chu-tombout-Willis” expression. I won’t promise to smiling 24/7, but this week I will commit to using a “polite poker face” when things get tricky. Check in with me next week to see how it goes.

What’s your plan for the week?

Monday Motivation is a quick mood board that I make to kick-start my work week. You can check out what “motivated” me in past weeks here.

GOOD STUFF: 4.14.17

posted in: Good Stuff | 0

It’s Friday! How are y’all feeling?

I just wrapped up a big project and handled a bunch of administrative tasks that I’ve been putting off for the last few days. Best feeling ever! I carved out some time this afternoon to dye Easter eggs and catch up on a few of my favorite podcasts. I’m also scrolling through Instagram and checking out all the boho vibes from Coachella that are popping up on my feed.

Today I’m enjoying the time that I have to wind down slowly since my work week usually ends with a frantic flurry of activity. This Good Friday has definitely been a “good” Friday (so far), and I’m looking forward to a great Easter weekend with my family.

What’s going in your world? Tell me about some of the “Good Stuff” that happened for you this week.

GOOD STUFF! showcases a few of the “good” things I enjoy during the week. You can find more “GOOD STUFF” here.

SF RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR: APRIL 2017

posted in: Inspiration | 2

San Francisco is such an inspiring city; there are always plenty of interesting things to see and do. I recently spent a sunny afternoon at the Renegade Craft Fair checking out some beautifully creative handmade goods. The Renegade Craft Fair is the world’s largest curated craft and design show. The fair travels to more than 24 cities across the United States and the United Kingdom. Tag along with me at the San Francisco fair…

 

Brands featured in the video: Molly M DesignsMagnoteHYworksT-WE TeaOne Per WeekMistura Timepieces,  On The Lookout Jewelry

 

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